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Daughter May Not Suffer the Pain

September 16, 1990

Sandy Banks' piece, "Mom, Will Anyone in My Class Look Like Me?" (Sept. 10) seems indulgent and melodramatic. So far, Banks' daughter seems to be doing great and she may or may not encounter the pain her mother predicts.

It sounds like the family has a nice home. The Banks have clearly chosen to make their daughter "the lone black child in a sea of white faces" for reasons they feel are valid. In any case, in this day and age, no one, certainly not the residents of Porter Ranch, will be surprised at a black or brown face. Our city is too diversified for that.

Finally, Banks may have to face a more painful issue: One reason for the sad decline of social and educational conditions in South-Central Los Angeles is that black families that could provide an exception to the "neighborhoods racked by crime" choose to flee.

As a part-time substitute teacher who has looked the problems squarely in the eyes at Foshay, Locke, Jefferson, Bret Harte and Carver schools, I have often thought that the single most powerful factor in braking the terrible cycle of ignorance would be that my kids would have neighbors like the Banks family.

PAUL EHRMANN

Santa Monica

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